I have high blood pressure. Can I still drink wine?

Nov 19, 2014

Q: I have high blood pressure. Can I still drink wine?

A: High blood pressure, or hypertension, refers to a condition in which blood is pumped through the circulatory system at a force that could potentially damage the heart. Because several different factors, from genetics to lifestyle habits, can cause high blood pressure, you should consult a physician before making any change in your diet and alcohol consumption.

Having said that, researchers at the School of Public Health at Wuhan University in China recently conducted a meta-analysis of nine previous studies that address the relationship between alcohol and high blood pressure. Their analysis looked at data from more than 400,000 individuals, categorizing them into four groups based on their volume of alcohol consumption. Overall, the risk for heart problems was lower for those who drank more alcohol. The authors of that paper concluded that among those who have hypertension, drinking low-to-moderate amounts of alcohol seems to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or of all-cause mortality.

Other studies, however, have found that alcohol consumption, especially binge drinking, raises blood pressure temporarily, and chronic binge drinking may lead to longterm problems with hypertension. Much of this research, however, has not distinguished wine from other forms of alcohol; wine is likely cardioprotective in some ways that other types of alcoholic beverages are not.

Have a question about wine and healthy living? E-mail us.

Health Q & A

You Might Also Like

Can I drink wine if I have the flu?

Can I drink wine if I have the flu?

Consuming alcohol while experiencing a respiratory illness may be questionable. However, …

Mar 4, 2020
Does wine cause cavities?

Does wine cause cavities?

Although wine's acidic properties can be conducive to cavity development, dental experts …

Feb 19, 2020
Can moderate wine consumption prevent kidney stones from forming?

Can moderate wine consumption prevent kidney stones from forming?

Approximately 500,000 people visit critical care facilities for kidney stone issues …

Feb 5, 2020
Is mixing wine and coffee after dinner bad for my heart?

Is mixing wine and coffee after dinner bad for my heart?

Alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant, but that doesn't mean that wine and …

Jan 22, 2020
Are

Are "natural" wines healthier?

Wine Spectator 's expert Dr. Vinny explains what natural wines are, and why some people …

Jan 8, 2020
What type of sparkling wine can I drink if I have diabetes?

What type of sparkling wine can I drink if I have diabetes?

Approximately 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes and wine can raise the blood …

Dec 19, 2019